my car audio system does not support MP3 album artworks embedded in PNG format.. unfortunately iTunes switched to this format a while ago.

I'd need to find a way to remove (or convert to JPG) all artwork data in PNG from a big set of files and directories.

Is there any tool that can do that in batch?

I've seen some CLI tools like EyeD3 or id3v2 but seems they require some compilation steps or Python install... too complicated for me...

I'm using some of Dougscripts plugins for copying files to the SD card, but there's no tool working on PNG album artwork.

Thanks!!. L.

3 Answers 3


You can use id3v2 to remove all artwork from your mp3 files. I appreciate your wanting to avoid compiling and the like, so below is an easier way to get the tool onto your Mac.

Remove all artwork with id3v2

The following command will iterate over mp3 files found in the current folder and remove any embedded artwork:

id3v2 -r "APIC" *.mp3

The following command will iterate over mp3 files found in one layer of folders deep:

id3v2 -r "APIC" */*.mp3

homebrew – how to get id3v2 onto your Mac

To install id3v2 on your Mac, without needing to delve too deeply into compiling and other developer concerns, use homebrew.

Follow the instructions on the homebrew link to get started. Once homebrew is available on your Mac, you can install id3v2 using the command:

brew install id3v2

To remove id3v2 from your Mac use:

brew remove id3v2

Other Approaches

There are other tools that can manipulate mp3 tags and artwork. Most are available through the homebrew project and thus you can quickly try them out.

See Re-encode uploaded/submitted MP3's with LAME removing artwork but keeping ID3 tags for other approaches using lame or more general tools in command line tool to edit mp3 ID3 tags.


Maybe Tagger can do this for you.


If you are comfortable with a command line tool, ffmpeg can convert one file at a time. However, for the batch processing, some shell programming will be required. Disclaimer: ffmpeg asks before overwriting, but before processing your mp3 collection with a self written bash script, better backup your data. This post on stackoverflow is related.

You pass the input file to ffmpeg with the -i option, specify the codecs for video ('none' or 'mjpeg' in this case) and audio ('copy' in this case)


ffmpeg -i song_with_any_artwork.mp3 -c:v mjpeg -c:a copy song_with_mjpeg_artwork.mp3


ffmpeg -i song_with_artwork.mp3 -vn -c:a copy song_only.mp3

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